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Pakistan’s historic moon mission will be launched on Friday

The ICUBE-Q satellite will be carried aboard China’s Chang’E6 spacecraft, says IST

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan is set to embark on a groundbreaking moon mission as the country’s historic ICUBE-Q satellite prepares for launch on Friday. The satellite will be carried aboard China’s Chang’E6 spacecraft, which is expected to depart from Hainan, China, at 12:50 PM PST.

According to the Institute of Space Technology (IST), the ICUBE-Q satellite was designed and developed by IST in collaboration with China’s Shanghai University SJTU and Pakistan’s National Space Agency SUPARCO.

The ICUBE-Q orbiter has two optical cameras to image the lunar surface. After successful qualification and testing, ICUBE-Q has now been integrated with the Chang’e6 mission. Chang’e6 is the sixth in a series of Chinese lunar exploration missions.

The launch activity will be broadcast live on the IST website and social media platforms. Chang’6 will land on the far side of the moon to collect samples from the surface and return to Earth for research.

The mission is important for Pakistan as it also requires a Pakistan CubeSat Satellite iCube-Q developed by IST.

CubeSats are miniature satellites typically characterized by their small size and standardized design. They are built in a cube shape, consisting of modular components that meet specific size restrictions.

These satellites often weigh no more than a few kilos and are used in space for various purposes.

The primary purpose of cubesats is to facilitate scientific research, technology development and educational initiatives in space exploration.

These satellites are used for a wide range of missions, including Earth observations, remote sensing, atmospheric research, communications, astronomy and technology demonstration.

Due to their compact size and relatively low cost compared to traditional satellites, CubeSats provide opportunities for universities, research institutions and commercial entities to participate in space missions and collect valuable data for scientific advancement and innovation.

They serve as platforms for testing new technologies and concepts, enabling access to space for a broader range of users and promoting collaboration within the space community.